Miranda Lambert's nonprofit shelter dog organization MuttNation has partnered with the Waggle Foundation's veterinary assistance group to form the MuttNation Fund. It's a relief effort designed to assist musicians and music industry workers' pets during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The MuttNation Fund offers financial help to members of the music community for covering medical bills related to their animals. Announced by Lambert this week, the support arrives as many in the industry struggle to stay afloat while tours stay grounded and concert venues remain closed.

Already a prolific friend to canines and owner of nine rescue dogs herself, the "Bluebird" performer got the idea after a member of her touring band was hit with unexpected expenses related to veterinary care.

"It really hit home when my backup singer and close friend Gwen's shelter dog, Earl, became extremely ill in early March, just as the pandemic was taking hold and our tour had to stop," Lambert explains. "After taking him to several vets, she was told Earl had a rare liver disorder."

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Earl, Gwen's Dog

Photo by Gwen Sebastian

"Earl is doing great now, but he'll require ongoing treatment for the rest of his life," Lambert says. "It was such an unexpected major expense at an already tough time. So, it got me thinking that there must be a lot more people whose careers in the music industry have been on pause due to lack of live performance opportunities, and who are struggling with their pets' vet bills."

Any musician, singer, producer, recording engineer, songwriter, manager, music venue worker or other member of the broader music community can apply for pet assistance via the MuttNation fund. The application can be accessed at wagglefoundation.org/muttnation.

After all, "music and mutts are my two passions," Lambert says. "I knew I had to do something and thought that starting this fund would help both the music community that's been so supportive of me, and their pets."

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